Is Nathan Adrian The Most Consistent 100m Sprinter in U.S. History? GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

While I love 50m free, the 100m is crucial,  the discipline that delivers hardware in the most exciting races of the Olympic Games–the 4×100 freestyle and medley relays.

Nathan Adrian  has won gold in the last three Olympic Games. He has 32 international medals, 20 of them gold. He’s been incredibly consistent, especially in the blue ribbon event, the 100 meter freestyle.

Focusing on 100m free in U.S. swimming history, how does Adrian compare to sprinting greats like Matt Biondi and Gary Hall Jr.?   Biondi (11 Olympic medals) and Hall (10 Olympic medals) tops Nathan (8 Olympic medals) on medal count, but, in my opinion, Nathan’s been more consistent in the 100m free.  It’s that third trip to the Olympic stage where Adrian has the edge, getting on the podium and playing a big role on the relays.

Is Adrian the most consistent 100-man in U.S. history?  What do you think?  

Is the comparison even fair?  Biondi suffered from a lack of NGB financial support during his era.  

Should Jason Lezak be on the list? He made the Olympic podium once in the 100m free, winning bronze, but he was a factor on relays across 2000, 04′, ’08 and ’12, and, of course, his ’08 anchor is the greatest swim of all-time. Maybe Lezak is the most consistent 100-man in U.S. history.  

I’m Team Adrian, but I think a lot readers will challenge my argument.

Lastly, Caeleb Dressel? Does anyone want to look into the crystal ball on this guy? Where’s he going to be by 2024?  I only ask for fun because I did not predict his 2017 Worlds performance. 

Follow Nathan Adrian on Twitter here.

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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David
4 years ago

Mel, what about your Olympic teammate in Matt Biondi? Shouldn’t he be in the discussion for most consistent U.S. sprinter in history?

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
4 years ago

I remember so well Biondi in 88 – i was 21 and watching his prowess in Awe . He showed the way it was done . His 800 relay anchor leg still boggles the mind as well . He was also so Tall that his stroke could catch up on anyone ahead of him

Steve Friederang
4 years ago

My bet is on Dressel from now on. Adrian has always had a bent knee kick — we show him in stroke lessons and cut him in half. I tell swimmers to focus on his early vertical forearm, which is remarkable and his great turnover. On the other side we tell people he’s weak in the recovery phase of his flutter kick. The upper body wins, of course. But he still pulls with the top hand first off of walls, so reminds me a lot of Biondi. Great talent but continuing education is a little lacking.

Then, along comes Caeleb Dressel. Reminds me of Lochte in that he listens to and will do whatever Gregg Troy tells him to.… Read more »

sven
Reply to  Steve Friederang
4 years ago

Can you clarify what you mean when you say “bent knee kick”? Are you saying that the legs should be kept straight during the flutter kick?

James
4 years ago

I love to see and hear about fast swims, world records are great things especially for the swimming community. But at the end of the day, the only swimming event that means anything is the Olympics. When that comes around every four years, you either rise to the challenge and get your hand on the wall, or you stay in “relative obscurity” of only hardcore swimming fans.

Nathan Adrian gets his hand on the wall when it counts – he wins golds. The time he does it in is like a cherry on top; a nice finish to the event but less important in my mind. It’s all about the color of your medal.

Troy
Reply to  James
4 years ago

Ia ma a HUGE adrain fan, well spoken, smart, seems to have a good personality,nice smile. to address what you said he got bronze in 50 and 100 at 2016 Olympics. Sidenote, he also loves to be an outside smoke, aka swim slow in prelims, 16th at Olympic trials in 2016, this goes all the way back to his college days.

Stoyle
4 years ago

Most consistent was Popov I think. No one has more World and Olympic titles/medals than him.

Dudeman
Reply to  Stoyle
4 years ago

Arguably yes but the question was about him being the most consistent in AMERICAN sprinting

Stoyle
Reply to  Dudeman
4 years ago

Whoops! Right you are. My mistake.

tea rex
4 years ago

What’s more, it seems like every year Adrian throws down a 48-low sometime in the spring, before Trials/Nationals.

Jay ryan
Reply to  tea rex
4 years ago

48.1-48.2 at that

STRAIGHTBLACKLINE
4 years ago

The absence of individual gold at WC’s is the only thing missing from his CV but he still has been in the ballpark. Unquestionably the most consistent American sprinter in the modern era.

Hank
4 years ago

Adrian still dominated the sprints at Winter nationals minus Dressel. Kind of a throwback to see him manhandling the field in SCY. What’s the point?

Adrian seems content to train and focus on major international LC meets.

He never does World Cup events or SCM it seems like. Why doesn’t he compete more internationally? Doesn’t need to?

sven
Reply to  Hank
4 years ago

He seems to be doing pretty well for himself with Coke, BMW, Speedo, etc., I don’t think he needs to deal with all that traveling and such for World Cups when it appears he’s totally content to just do his thing at home. I’m a bit of a homebody, myself, so I can relate. If you’ve got a steady stream of income and you’re spending/saving responsibly, it really just becomes a matter of choice.

sven
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
4 years ago

Exactly. His brand is more than just fast swimming. It’s dependability, charisma, staying out of trouble (i.e. Phelps and Lochte), etc. He’s just a genuinely likeable person and the big brands are willing to pay for that.

Beyond that, on the swimming side, imo his consistency is to be expected. Having watched pretty much all of his post-race interviews in the past few years, he speaks more analytically about his races than pretty much any other swimmer I’ve seen. He talks about micro-goals rather than focusing on time goals, current race trends re: back-half vs. fly-and-die, overall training focus, etc. with such precision that you know nothing he does in a race is by accident. I think many swimmers, pros… Read more »

jmanswimfan
Reply to  Hank
4 years ago

41.22 second fastest of his career, very cool to see, I hope he can keep it up till Olympics or Pan Pacs

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  jmanswimfan
4 years ago

While it WAS indeed very cool to see him “haul tail” like that, it was not the second fastest of his career. See the YouTube video of him winning the 100 free at USMS 2014 SCY Nationals in 41.13. I recall in that race they initially thought he had actually tied his (then) American record of 41.08, but then amended that to 41.13. Very cool nonetheless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_28fqQx6Ops

Jay ryan
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
4 years ago

I thought the amended time was 41.10

Steve Swims
4 years ago

Consistent? Or peaked?

Dudeman
Reply to  Steve Swims
4 years ago

Bad joke, bad you

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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